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Monday, July 19, 2021

My thoughts on masks in the new school year

 First, let me say my opinion isn't set in stone, and if you disagree with me, I get it. That being said, the thought of another year teaching and wearing a mask sends chills down my spine.  

Teaching and wearing a mask was not easy, and it definitely wasn't fun. Unless you did it, it's hard to explain, but I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. 

I just read that one in five new covid cases are in Florida as the Delta Variant, and a lack of leadership has gripped our state. Then to make it worse, my hometown of Jacksonville has been the epicenter of the resurgence. That's scary as are the plans my district has announced. Masks will be optional for everyone vaccinated though as far as I can tell, there is no mechanism in place to see who is vaccinated or not. Basically, we are on the honor system. 

In my opinion, keeping staff and students safe has never been a priority for my district, but I have covered that ad nauseum.

So I have been vaccinated since March, had COVID in December, and where I came to hate them was a big proponent of wearing masks, but unless something new and more dreadful rears its ugly head, I believe that ship has sailed, though that's not to say I don't have concerns.

Contact tracing was bad last year, so I can only imagine it will be worse this year. Social distancing didn't happen last year, so that's a non-starter, my desks have already been stripped of the plexiglass shields, and that deep cleaning they promised and continue to do so never really materialized. Despite all of this, I have no plans to voluntarily wear a mask.       

What I would like is to be held harmless if I get sick from school contact. I don't want to spend all my days trying to not die. Then I want my wife took care of if something happens to me, and my x2 salary life insurance probably isn't going to cut it. Then finally, once the vaccine loses its emergency label, I want to see it become mandatory in our schools. 

We already require a handful of vaccines, and COVID should be added to the list and done so for two reasons. First, it just makes sense to protect our staff and students. If you don't want to get vaccinated, the state has created plenty of crappy education options for families to go to, and then not to do so doesn't make any sense at all.      

Florida already does so many education things that don't make sense, that are designed to hurt its citizens under this pretense, or that but not requiring the vaccine is a bridge too far. If we say no to the vaccine, then if we are honest, what can we say yes to? Dress code, other vaccines, testing, discipline? If we don't care if staff and students live or die, why are those or anything important?

They are not.

Just my thoughts; feel free to respectfully disagree.  


  1. I agree and disagree with you at the same time. While I hate wearing masks with a passion I cannot in good conscience tell my barely turned 11-year old to wear a mask at school while my wife & I do not take similar precautions while at our respective schools. Part of me wants to lie about her age & take her to Walgreens for the shots. (If only she looked old enough :) Both my kids & I caught covid last fall and aren't eager to repeat that experience. Since then we've been vaccinated except for my youngest. I will take whatever precautions to keep her safe but I don't want to be a hypocrite either. Your thoughts?

    p.s. It's ironic that this would all be a moot point if the same people that are so anti-mask would've gotten vaccinated in a timely fashion.

  2. I don't think there is a wrong answer especially if you have been part of the wear masks get vaccinated side. Also, sadly I don't think we can count on the district to look out for us either. My main push here is to require vaccines once its no longer an emergency order vaccine of this will never end. My wife and I had covid over winter break, and it was dreadful for me, while she kind of sailed through.

  3. If only there were some sort of magic pill or shot that would render this whole discussion irrelevant...smh. That being said I have no faith in DCPS ability to "pivot" as they like to barrage us with. We all saw how well that went with 6 months of prior planning before last school year. If covid was an iceberg and DCPS were the Titanic our fearless leader would be screaming full steam ahead while the boat sinks into icy waters. The latest Delta variant has rendered those surveys sent out last spring meaningless. Oh yes I remember those heady days back when everyone was so optimistic about their upcoming summer plans and people were lining up for their shots. To reiterate I have zero faith that Dr. Greene is willing or able to adjust to changing conditions on the ground based on past experience. Because as we've seen with charter school expansion as with so many other issues when DuhSantis or Dick Corcoran tell her to jump Greene's only response is "how high?"

  4. As she has on most issues, our 'Chief for Change' follows the dictates of King Richard and Ron 'nothing matters but that you vote for me' DeSantis. When she started, the movers and shakers in town wanted her gone. She has dealt with that by showing them that she will give them everything they want.

  5. From optional to highly recommended for under 11 and the unvaccinated...I honestly don't know why they even bother with the charade. Despite their love for the word "pivot" as evidenced by its constant usage dcps has no idea what the word even means...smh

    1. It's the closest they could get to giving a shit without actually giving a shit??